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article imageNBA: Thunder advance to Conference Finals with 105-90 victory

By Austin Tyler     May 15, 2011 in Sports
Oklahoma City - This is the first game in the whole 2011 NBA Playoffs that actually went seven games. With both teams evenly matched, the question was who will come out on top. Thanks to Kevin Durant the Thunder did and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.
Both are the youngest teams in the playoffs with a chance to meet the Dallas Mavericks in the next round they took the series to the max. The Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27) hosted the Memphis Grizzlies (46-36) for game seven of this Western Conference Semifinals. The Thunder had home court advantage and it played it part as OKC got a big boost from their crowd.
The Thunder struck first with a Thabo Sefolosha jumper, but the Grizzlies took the lead with a 8-2 run. Kevin Durant made a jumper to tie the game up at 8 points apiece. Zach Randolph made a jumper and Mike Conley made a layup that gave them a 13-8 lead, and force OKC to take a timeout.
Kevin Durant made another jumper and Nick Collison made a layup to get the Thunder within one-point, 13-12. Durant and Collison’s buckets sparked a 10-2 run for OKC which gave them an 18-15 lead. Mike Conley scored on a layup to end the Grizzlies drought and get them within one-point. OKC ended the quarter with pair of free-throws from Durant, and a free-throw from James Harden to give them a 21-17 lead.
Memphis got buckets from Sam Young and Marc Gasol tied the game up at 21 points apiece to start the second quarter. Eric Maynor made a three-pointer to make it a 24-21 lead for the Thunder. OKC then opened their lead with James Harden making a layup to spark a 9-0 run. Kevin Durant made a three-pointer and Kendrick Perkins made a jumper to give them a 33-23 lead.
The Grizzlies tried to cut into the lead with Mike Conley scoring four straight points, and Zach Randolph made a jumper to cut the Thunder lead to eight-points. Kevin Durant later made a three-pointer and a jumper to give the Thunder a 42-31 lead. Conley answered with a three-pointer, but the Thunder ended the half with a 42-34 lead.
Both teams struggled to score to begin the third quarter, and the game got chippy as Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka were hit with double-technicals. Marc Gasol made a pair of free-throws to score the first points of the second half, and O.J. Mayo made a jumper to make it a 42-38 game. The Thunder got dunks from Thabo Sefolosha and Kendrick Perkins to give them a 48-40 lead.
Randolph made a jumper and Tony Allen made a layup to get the Grizzlies within six-points. Kevin Durant made a jumper to give the Thunder a 52-46 lead. Mike Conley made a three-pointer that got Memphis within three-points. Nick Collison got a tip-in bucket and Durant made a three-pointer that gave them a 57-49 lead.
OKC opened the up a big lead with James Harden and Kevin Durant making back-to-back three-pointers to give them a 14-point lead, 65-51. Zach Randolph and O.J. Mayo made buckets for the Grizzlies, but Harden made a pair of three-pointers to give the Thunder a 72-58 lead going into the final period.
Nick Collison scored for the Thunder to start the fourth quarter. Darrell Arthur made a bucket and Tony Allen made a dunk for Memphis to make it a 76-62 game. O.J. Mayo then made a three-pointer to get the Grizzlies within 13-points. Russell Westbrook made a pair of free-throws and Kevin Durant made a dunk that opened the game up for OKC 84-69.
Mike Conley made a jumper and O.J. Mayo made a layup that made it an 86-73 game. Nick Collison and Kevin Durant made a pair of free-throws capped off with a Durant dunk that made it 92-77 lead for OKC. James Harden sealed the game with a three-pointer and Durant got another dunk to make it a 97-78 lead for the Thunder.
Nate Robinson made a three-pointer as he entered the game with both teams emptying their benches. Darrell Arthur made a three-pointer and Greivis Vasquez made a three-pointer at the buzzer, but the game was already sealed.
Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 18 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Zach Randolph scored 17 points with 10 rebounds, and O.J. Mayo scored 14 points with five rebounds.
Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder helps lead OKC to victory.
Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder helps lead OKC to victory.
flickr/Keith Allison
Marc Gasol finished with 12 points and seven rebounds.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 39 points and nine rebounds. Russell Westbrook had a triple-double with 14 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds for his first triple-double in the playoffs. James Harden came off the bench to score 17 points. Nick Collison came off the bench grab 12 points with eight points.
The Memphis Grizzlies ended a great run with a good team as they knocked off the number one seed San Antonio Spurs in the first round. They won their first game and playoff series in their short playoff history.
Oklahoma City has advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in their short history also. They were knocked out in the first round last year and Kevin Durant said they would make it out of the first round this year, and they did. They made it out the first two rounds with a chance to make it to the NBA Finals.
The series with the Dallas Mavericks will begin on Tuesday in Dallas as the Mavs will have home court advantage.
Russell Westbrook became the fifth player in NBA history to register a triple-double in Game Seven of a playoff series, joining a quartet of Hall-of-Famers: Jerry West (1969), Larry Bird (1984), James Worthy (1988) and Scottie Pippen (1992).
Both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook combined to join another Hall-of-Fame list. Only five other pairs of teammates in NBA history had a playoff game in which one scored at least 39 points and the other had a triple double. In each case, the duo was comprised of two Hall-of-Famers: Wilt Chamberlain and Tom Gola, twice (Philadelphia Warriors, 1960), Jerry West and Elgin Baylor (Lakers, 1964), Hal Greer and Chamberlain (76ers, 1967), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson (Lakers, 1980), and Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, twice (Bulls, 1992-93).
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